Poster B120, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Age-Related Declines in Cerebellar-Basal Ganglia Functional Circuits: Implications for Motor Function in Older Adulthood
Hanna K. Hausman1, T. Bryan Jackson1, Jessica A. Bernard1; 1Texas A&M University
With a growing elderly population, it is important to understand brain interactions that may affect behavioral performance declines with age. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) has been increasingly used to investigate connections between different brain regions. Imaging studies have indicated disruptions in functional connectivity of various networks in older adults (OA) relative to younger adults (YA). While the default mode network has been well studied in OA, the literature investigating other networks, particularly subcortical networks, is relatively lacking. Both the cerebellum and the basal ganglia are important areas of investigation in OA due to their role in cognitive and motor functions, as well as their involvement in the pathophysiology of neurological disorders. Here, we performed a targeted rs-fMRI analysis of the cerebellar and the basal ganglia seeds in healthy YA and OA individuals. Structural and rs-fMRI images were obtained from 30 YA and 20 OA. After preprocessing, rs-fMRI connectivity patterns of the cerebellum and basal ganglia were quantified using the CONN toolbox. We computed an ROI-ROI analysis of lobular cerebellar seeds and basal ganglia subregions as defined by DiMartino. We found significantly stronger connectivity between regions of the putamen and the anterior lobules of the cerebellum in YA as compared to OA. Notably, these regions are associated with motor networks and function. These functional changes may contribute to age-related performance declines, and are particularly interesting in the context of Parkinson’s disease where the interactions between the cerebellum and basal ganglia are of increasing interest.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development & aging